Vaping Schools

A high school student uses a vaping device last year near a school campus in Cambridge, Mass.

Two cases of serious respiratory disease have been confirmed among Idahoans who use electronic cigarettes or other vaping devices.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced the cases Tuesday, at a time when nationwide concern over vaping is rising. The two patients in Idaho, who are in the teenage to young adult age range, are recovering.

U.S. health officials on Friday again urged people to stop vaping until they figure out why some are coming down with serious breathing illnesses, according to the Associated Press.

There have been five deaths and possibly 450 cases in 33 states nationwide that have reported the severe pulmonary disease among people who use e-cigarettes or vape, according to Health and Welfare. No single factor has been seen in every case, AP reports.

Idaho public health officials join others states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration in investigating the pulmonary disease.

“Idaho healthcare providers are notifying us of patients with severe respiratory symptoms who report vaping in the days or weeks before they became very sick,” Dr. Kathryn Turner, deputy state epidemiologist, said in Health and Welfare’s press release. “We are investigating each report and looking for things that might be common among the patients as well as asking about the types of vaping products and devices people have used to try and pinpoint the source of these illnesses.”

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Consumers who use vaping products are urged to avoid buying products from the street and refrain from modifying or adding any substances to products purchased in stores.

Patients have had symptoms that include cough, shortness of breath or chest pain that has grown worse over a period of days or weeks before admission to the hospital. Other symptoms may include fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Those who use vape products and are having difficulty breathing should seek medical attention immediately.

There is extra concern for teenagers and young adults who use vaping products, the release states. The legal age to buy e-cigarettes is 18. Most vaping products contain nicotine, according to Health and Welfare, which can impact the learning, memory and attention of adolescents. Vaping can also expose users to other harmful substances like heavy metals, volatile organic compounds and ultrafine particles.

Information about the ongoing investigation in Idaho is available at The latest nationwide information can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.{/span}


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